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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump's campaign team admits there were "some missed opportunities" at Monday's presidential debate after they've had time to "digest" the real estate mogul's performance, sources say. One senior staffer, in a shocking admission, says that Trump’s failures were his own and “more a lack of execution than preparation.”

At the same time, members of Trump’s family are standing behind the leadership of the campaign, contrary to reports of dissension.

"My siblings and I are thrilled with the current team, as we should be, given the success in the polls and in Monday's debate," Donald Trump Jr. told ABC News today in a statement. "There is no truth to this fabricated lie and we are excited to be working with these amazing professionals. The business continues to be tremendously successful as it has for years given our incredible assets and attention to detail in their management.”

The comments come amid intense finger-pointing from all levels of the campaign. Trump has blamed the moderator for not addressing topics he wished to discuss. Meanwhile, that staffer said that Trump “lost his nerve” in not hitting Clinton on certain issues like the attacks in Benghazi.

To blame the candidate is evidence of how shaken advisers were post-debate, seeking to shift blame from themselves and those who were responsible for prepping the candidate, to the candidate himself.

Sources say Trump prepared more than was reported but that he should have done mock debates and should have prepared for questions like those about the birther theory about President Obama he pushed for years (before disavowing it recently), as well as women's issues.

But Trump believed those issues and questions surrounding them, according to one source, were "well within the past." Three sources all said they were shocked Trump did not bring up Benghazi, another adding that it was a topic prepared for during sessions.

Hillary Clinton blasted Trump at the debate for language that he has used to describe women in the past and took him to task for pushing birtherism for years after the president released his birth certificate.

Sources say unfortunately Trump "did not get through the check list," but feel they have time to prepare for the final two debates. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will continue to be a part of sessions going forward and the team is hoping to emulate the town hall style of the next debate.

But sources say no new prep has happened yet for the next debate on Oct. 9 -- the focus right now is on campaigning.


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Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gary Johnson has once again demonstrated that foreign policy may not be his strong point.

On Wednesday night –- just three weeks after the Libertarian presidential candidate curiously asked an MSNBC host “What’s Aleppo?” when asked what he would do about the war-torn Syrian city –- Johnson stumbled over a question that again has left voters scratching their heads.

During a town hall on MSNBC with Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, host Chris Matthews asked the former New Mexico governor, "Who's your favorite foreign leader? Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to. Anybody."

Gary Johnson had an "Aleppo moment" after @hardballchris asks who his favorite foreign leader is #JohnsonTownhall https://t.co/nRazpPL0q0

— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 28, 2016

Weld quickly responded, "Mine was Shimon Peres," choosing the former Israeli president who died Wednesday from a stroke at the age of 93.

"I'm talking about living," Matthews said, turning back to Johnson.

"You gotta do this," Matthews said to Johnson. "Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect."

With no leader apparently popping into his head, Johnson said, "I guess I'm having an 'Aleppo moment' in the former president of Mexico."

Matthews persisted, saying, "But I'm giving you the whole world. Anybody in the world you like. Anybody. Pick any leader."

Johnson repeated, albeit without specifically naming a leader, "The former president of Mexico."

"Which one?" a perplexed Matthews asked.

"I'm having a brain freeze," Johnson admitted, as Weld began to list the names of recent Mexican leaders.

"Fox! Thank you!" Johnson said when he heard former Mexican president Vicente Fox.

Weld, meanwhile, said his favorite world leader is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Vladone/iStock/Thinkstock(FORT LEE, Va.) -- President Obama said Congress made a "mistake" in overriding his veto of a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the terrorist attacks.

"It was a mistake," the president said during CNN's "Presidential Town Hall" in Fort Lee, Virginia on Wednesday. "If we eliminate this notion of sovereign immunity, then our men and women in uniform around the world could potentially start seeing ourselves subject to reciprocal laws."

"This is a dangerous precedent and it's an example of why sometimes you have to do what's hard. And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what's hard," the president said.

He went on to describe why he believes the move was a "political vote."

"If you're perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that's a hard vote for people to take," Obama said. "But it would have been the right thing to do."

The Senate voted 97-1 to override the president's veto, while the House voted to override by a large margin: 348-77 and one present vote. The votes cemented the first veto override for Obama of his eight years in office.

Some lawmakers have sided with the White House in expressing concerns about the bill, but that has not been enough to overcome the widespread congressional support for the bill.

"I look forward to the opportunity for Congress to override the president’s veto, provide these families with the chance to seek the justice they deserve and send a clear message that we will not tolerate those who finance terrorism in the United States," Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas said in a statement Friday, after the president had vetoed the bill.

Individuals with connections to the Saudi government are alleged to have helped shape the plot to hijack airplanes and destroy key U.S. landmarks like the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Some say the intention was further revealed in what are known as the 28 pages -- previously classified parts of a congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks, released earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any involvement in the attacks.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the veto override after the Senate vote, calling it "the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done, possibly since 1983" in an apparent reference to the last time Congress issued a veto override by such a wide margin.

"You had at least one prominent Republican senator today saying that the members of Senate Judiciary Committee were not quite sure what the bill actually did and to have members of the United States Senate only reasonably informed of the negative impact of this bill on our service members and our diplomats in itself is embarrassing," Earnest said. "For those senators to move forward in overriding the president’s veto that would prevent those negative consequences is an abdication of their basic responsibilities as elected representatives of the American people."

Obama has expressed concerns the bill would possibly damage relations with Saudi Arabia and, also, leave government officials and U.S. citizens vulnerable to lawsuits from other nations.

His top national security officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, have argued that it could also make Saudi Arabia less willing to share crucial intelligence that could disrupt terror plots at home.

"The Saudis provide significant amounts of information that feed into the system that allow us to disrupt these threats," Brennan said Wednesday afternoon. "It would be a absolute shame if this legislation influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counter terrorism partners."

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Roel Smart/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a letter sent Wednesday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether EpiPen manufacturer Mylan incorrectly classified its lifesaving product to save millions of dollars in required payments to states.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, believe Mylan may have violated the False Claims Act by classifying EpiPen as a generic drug under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. That classification allowed the company to pay a lower percentage of its revenues back to states as rebates.

Because Mylan's EpiPen doesn't have an FDA-approved competitor, the senators argue, the company should have classified it as an "innovator" drug, which would have required paying a larger rebate to states.

“Just as they’ve overcharged consumers, they are also overcharging the government and, potentially, fraudulently lying to the government, and that’s a crime,” Blumenthal told ABC News today. “If Mylan misstated to the government the nature of its product so as to inflate its own profits, it should be held accountable.”

Congress has scrutinized the embattled pharmaceutical company since August after it dramatically raised the price of its EpiPen, which jumped from $100 for a two-pack in 2009, to more than $600 in 2016, according to medical literature.

Company CEO Heather Bresch appeared before a House committee investigating the company's pricing last week, and was criticized by Republicans and Democrats for nearly four hours for not offering a transparent picture of the company's finances.

Bresch did not apologize for the company's pricing system, calling the $600 price tag "fair." Armed with a number of posters showing the company’s earnings and expenses, she argued that Mylan only makes a profit of $50 on each pen, and has put the product in schools for free.

But, according to a new Wall Street Journal report, Bresch understated the company's profits to Congress while she was under oath. Mylan makes closer to $160 in profit before taxes for a two-pack of EpiPens, the Journal found.

That panel has given Mylan until Friday to provide additional financial documents to clarify the company's profits.

The company said in a statement today that it has "previously stated that the EpiPen Auto-Injector meets the definition of 'non-innovator' drug in the Medicaid rebate law. EpiPen Auto-Injector has been classified as a non-innovator since long before Mylan acquired the product."

"Mylan’s classification of EpiPen Auto-Injector as a non-innovator drug is consistent with longstanding written guidance from the federal government. Just this year, the government adopted a new rule intended to clarify ambiguities in the Medicaid rebate law. The rule establishes a new process for pharmaceutical companies to follow if they have products, like EpiPen®, approved under a [sic] what the FDA calls a 'new drug application' that they believe should continue to be treated as a non-innovator drug.

"The new process calls for the submission of an application for non-innovator status to be submitted to CMS on or before April 1, 2017. It would be premature to comment further on this issue until the CMS process has concluded.”

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Twitter(NEW YORK) -- Pepe the Frog, a ubiquitous internet meme, has been "hijacked by the racist right," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center -- backing up the Anti-Defamation League's decision to add Pepe to its list of hate symbols.

Mark Potok, a spokesman for the SPLC, told ABC News in a phone interview that while the SPLC doesn't formally track hate symbols, the group is aware of Pepe the Frog. He acknowledged that while the cartoon was not designed as a hate symbol, it has been re-purposed as one by white supremacist groups.

By adding Pepe to its list of hate symbols, the ADL has placed the frog in some bad company -- the cartoon now shares space with the swastika and the Confederate flag.

Pepe, as has been widely noted in the press, has evolved considerably in usage as a meme from its inception in the mid 2000s. Matt Furie, the artist who first drew the green frog and introduced him on his MySpace page in 2005, said that “Pepe is beyond my control" in an interview with New York Magazine this year.

These days, it is not entirely uncommon to see the frog wearing Nazi garb, although its usage does not appear limited to promoting hate.

The conservative website Breitbart News has used Pepe in its articles in the past, as it did in an explainer on the alt-right that shows Pepe leading a battle-worn GOP elephant to its grave.

Some supporters of GOP nominee Donald Trump's campaign, as a well as other political movements that have become popular with the alt-right -- a right-wing ideology presented as an alternative to mainstream conservatism that is highlighted by an opposition to multiculturalism, immigration and feminism -- embraced Pepe as an online symbol early on in his campaign.

As a result, the frog has surfaced -- sometimes awkwardly -- in the cycle of mainstream election news.

Trump himself quote-tweeted an image of Pepe the Frog in October 2015. Hillary Clinton, while giving a speech warning about the dangers of the alt-right earlier this year, was greeted by a heckler who yelled "Pepe!" at her from the crowd. The Clinton campaign published an explainer on its website earlier this month in which they declared that Pepe had been "co-opted by white supremacists."

Donald Trump Jr., while taking aim Clinton's description of some Trump supporters as "deplorables," posted an image on Instagram taken from the promotional material from the film "The Expendables" in which each of the characters' heads was replaced with the head of a prominent Trump supporter. Among the group of heads was Pepe, side-by-side with Mike Pence and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars, among others.

"I've never even heard of Pepe the Frog," Trump Jr. told ABC News on "This Week" when asked about his usage of the symbol. "I mean, bet you 90 percent of your viewers have never heard of Pepe the Frog. I thought it was a frog in a wig. I thought it was funny. I had no idea there was any connotation there."

Some Trump supporters have expressed anger online about the designation of Pepe as a hate symbol. In the Reddit group The_Donald, someone posted a image today of Pepe's face on a "Don't Tread on Me" flag under a headline that said "NOT HATE." Within the thread, some Trump supporters commiserated about Pepe's new designation. One user threatened to have Clinton's "H" symbol reported as a symbol of hate in an act of retaliation.

Reddit has been a popular hangout for some Trump supporters online, and the candidate answered questions from some of that group in July in an Ask Me Anything forum.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart News writer and prominent supporter of Trump who drew criticism for his involvement in the trolling of "Ghostbusters" star Leslie Jones, receiving a permanent ban from Twitter as a result, mocked the designation of Pepe as a hate symbol in a comment to ABC News.

"Great news! We can rest easy now that the [ADL] has identified the real source of racial tension in the United States. It's not bad policing, it's not crappy schools and it's not the war on drugs-- it's frog memes!" he said in an email.

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Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The objective of Michelle Obama's first of two stump speeches for Hillary Clinton in battleground Pennsylvania today was clear: hype Clinton and tarnish Donald Trump, while getting young people out to vote.

Within minutes of taking the stage at La Salle University in Philadelphia to an ecstatic, diverse and, largely, young audience of people at or near voting age, Obama moved from laughing with the crowd and cracking jokes to slamming the ongoing "birther" movement.

Refusing to mention the Republican nominee by name throughout her remarks, Obama described Trump's previous support of the conspiracy theory that her husband was not a natural-born citizen  as a deceitful, deliberate lie.
 
Trump has since said the president was born in the United States.

"When they go low, we go high," the first lady said today.

Obama added to applause and cheers: "A president cannot just pop off and [act] irrationally."

With 40 days until America takes to the polls to vote, Democratic presidential nominee Clintonis once again deploying Michelle Obama to stump for her in the crucial state of Pennsylvania.

After a brand-new campaign ad featuring the first lady rolled out Wednesday morning, Obama spoke to students and supporters at La Salle this afternoon. From there she was scheduled to head to Pittsburgh for a second Clinton campaign event.

Michelle Obama first hit the trail to rally for Clinton earlier this month after her stirring remarks at the summer Democratic National Convention. Given her sky-high approval rating among the American people, even when compared to her husband's, the Clinton campaign clearly views the first lady as a valuable surrogate, with Clinton's even quoting her during the debate Monday night against Trump.

The first lady today echoed past concerns and criticisms of Trump's divisiveness and what she has said are her concerns about the poor example she believes he sets for the nation's children.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  If the only Farmville you've ever heard of is the Facebook game, you're not alone.

Many members of the political masses and traveling press will be looking up directions to Farmville, Virginia, home of Longwood University, the site for this year's vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Longwood University, which was founded in 1839, has never hosted a presidential or vice presidential debate before. The school's president, W. Taylor Reveley IV, said the decision to apply stemmed from a student's suggestion in 2014.

The students "got to talking about how the modern presidential debates have a strong connection to Virginia," said Reveley.

The University of Richmond, located more than 60 miles northeast of Farmville, hosted the first town hall-style presidential debate between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

 "As happens sometimes in class, organically, people got to talking about whether it was something we would ever do at Longwood," he said.

Reveley said the idea "really stuck" and he worked out the necessary logistics for hosting such a prestigious event.

Moreover, "there's a narrative arch in Farmville and at Longwood that's especially relevant to the 2016 election," Reveley said.

"The Civil War functionally drew to a close along the north end of our campus, and then the civil rights movement really took its first powerful strides at the south end of our campus, with a student-led strike at the then-all black high school," he added.

Longwood is actually about 30 miles from the Appomattox Court House, where one of the final battles of the Civil War was fought before Gen. Lee's Confederate Army surrendered to the Union Army in the spring of 1865.

The court house is not the only historical monument in town. A sit-in in 1951 at Robert Russa Moton High School led to the legal fight over "separate but equal" facilities in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

 Peter Eyre, a senior adviser with the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), said that the history and appreciation for politics present at Longwood likely played a role in its selection, along with other factors.

"It would be typical for each school to have something that they really feature as a compelling reason to do a debate there besides the facilities," Eyre told ABC News.

"For each of the sites, we look at a variety of things: the facilities, the supporting cast of characters, local police, law enforcement, hotels, transportation. But there is certainly an element that we look at that is much less tangible," he said.

 Justin Pope, the chief of staff at Longwood University, said that in addition to the formal application filing, the CPD "kicks the tires, they make a number of visits to campus and see if they think you could handle it logistically."

All told, the process took about two years, "so I do have some empathy with the campaigns," Reveley said.

The university learned about the decision last September. Reveley said he got a call from Mike McCurry, the press secretary for former President Bill Clinton and current co-chairman of the CPD.

"He has a good sense of humor, so when he got me on the phone without any preamble he said, 'Are you busy Oct. 4?' and I said, I sure hope so!'" Reveley said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Both houses of Congress voted Wednesday to override a veto from President Obama -- for the first time -- of a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the terrorist attacks.

The Senate today voted 97-1 to override the president's veto, while the House voted to override by a large margin: 348-77 and one present vote.

Some lawmakers have sided with the White House in expressing concerns about the bill, saying it might open Americans up to similar lawsuits from foreign nations. But that has not been enough to overcome the widespread congressional support for the bill.

“I look forward to the opportunity for Congress to override the president’s veto, provide these families with the chance to seek the justice they deserve and send a clear message that we will not tolerate those who finance terrorism in the United States,” Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas said in a statement Friday after the president vetoed the bill.

Individuals with connections to the Saudi government are alleged to have helped shape the plot to hijack airplanes and destroy key U.S. landmarks like the twin towers and the Pentagon, as illuminated in what are known as the 28 pages, previously classified parts of a congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks that ware released earlier this year.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the move after the Senate vote, calling it "the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983" in an apparent reference to the last time Congress issued a veto override by such a wide margin.

"You had at least one prominent Republican senator today saying that the members of Senate Judiciary Committee were not quite sure what the bill actually did and to have members of the United States Senate only reasonably informed of the negative impact of this bill on our service members and our diplomats in itself is embarrassing," Earnest said. "For those senators to move forward in overriding the president’s veto that would prevent those negative consequences is an abdication of their basic responsibilities as elected representatives of the American people."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — It's been 20 years since Alicia Machado was crowned Miss Universe. Now, the former beauty queen has become a part of the U.S. presidential campaign after her experience with Donald Trump was brought up in Monday's presidential debate.

Machado was 19 years old when she won the Miss Universe contest in 1996, the same year Trump took over the pageant. She said Trump publicly humiliated her when she started putting on weight. He allegedly called her names like "Miss Piggy," "Miss Housekeeping" and "Miss Eating Machine," and he invited the press to watch her work out, according to Machado.

"As a mother, I am very worried he could be president," Machado told ABC News in an interview that aired on Good Morning America Wednesday. "Maybe he will be saying bad things about me or try and discredit to me. But it's OK, I'm strong."

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton brought up the controversy with Machado during the debate, adding that Trump has called women "pigs, slobs and dogs."

"And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them," Clinton said from the debate stage at Hofstra University in Hemptstead, New York. "And he called this woman 'Miss Piggy.' Then he called her 'Miss Housekeeping,' because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado, and she has become a U.S. citizen. And you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

Machado said she has suffered from eating disorders after the experience.

"I don't like to remember that moment," she explained. "I had a lot of problems."

Machado became an American citizen in May and said she plans to vote for Clinton in November.

Trump has since pushed back against the criticism regarding his treatment of Machado, saying "she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem."

"She was the winner, and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem," the real estate mogul said of Machado during an interview on Fox News' Fox & Friends Tuesday morning. "We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her."

Trump went on to compare Machado with other Miss Universe winners, describing her as "the worst we ever had."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — The conflict between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over racial and gender issues in Monday’s debate reflects a deep divide in voter attitudes: views on the influence of men, women and racial groups in society are closely related to vote preferences.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, mainly released Sunday, finds that majorities of Hillary Clinton’s supporters believe minorities and women have too little influence in American society, while half say men and whites have too much influence. For all his outsider appeal, Donald Trump’s supporters, by contrast, are far more apt to endorse the status quo in this regard.

All told, the survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that about half of Americans think women, men and whites have about the right amount of influence in society these days. Fewer — three in 10 — say the same about racial and ethnic minorities.

Of the rest, many more say women have too little rather than too much influence (42 vs. 10 percent). The gap also is wide for minorities (40 percent say they have too little influence, 23 percent too much). In contrast, Americans overall are more apt to say men and whites have too much rather than too little influence, 37 vs. 9 percent for men, 34 vs. 12 percent for whites.

The divisions among Clinton and Trump supporters are deep. Two-thirds of Clinton supporters say minorities have too little influence in the country these days, while just 17 percent of Trump supporters agree. Among Clinton supporters, 58 percent say women have too little influence; only 21 percent of Trump’s say the same.

Further, 50 percent of Clinton’s backers say men have too much influence, and 53 percent say the same about whites. That view plummets to 20 and 8 percent, respectively, among Trump voters.

Instead, roughly two-thirds of Trump supporters say women, whites and men alike have about the right amount of influence. Four in 10 Trump supporters say minorities have the right amount of influence — and as many say they have too much.

These results stand up in a statistical model. Controlling for demographics, partisanship, ideology and presidential approval, seeing too little influence for whites and men and too much influence for minorities and women independently predicts support for Trump. Other than disapproval of Barack Obama, which is by far the best predictor of support for Trump, views of group influence have a similar effect as partisanship, ideology and race.

Holding these pro-Trump views — that is, seeing too little influence for whites and men and too much influence for minorities and women — peaks among strong conservatives and core Trump supporters, those who wanted him to win the GOP presidential nomination. It’s also more prevalent among conservatives overall, people who disapprove of Obama’s job performance or feel they’ve gotten worse off financially under his presidency, men and older, less-educated and less well-off Americans.

Conversely, the opinion that whites and men have too much influence, and minorities and women have too little, tops out among strong liberals and those who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Groups


Democrats and liberals are more apt to see too little influence for minorities and women, and too much for whites and men, while Republicans and conservatives generally are OK with the current state of affairs. Independents and moderates, as they often do, fall in between.

Education also is a factor. About half of college graduates say minorities and women have too little influence, 15 and 12 percentage points more than non-graduates. And 45 percent of college graduates say whites have too much influence, 15 points more than non-graduates.

Perhaps surprisingly, women are only somewhat more likely than men to say that men have too much power (42 vs. 32 percent) and that women have too little power (46 vs. 39 percent.) Another gap is wider: Minorities are more apt to think that whites have too much influence rather than too little influence (44 vs. 11 percent, peaking at 55-13 percent among blacks). Whites, by contrast, divide 29-12 percent on whether whites have too much or too little influence, with 55 percent it’s about right.

The impact of education and gender is magnified when looking at the two key groups of whites, non-college white men and college-educated white women. Among white women with a four-year degree, 46 percent say whites have too much influence. Among non-college white men, just 21 percent agree. Similarly, while 53 percent of college-educated white women think men have too much influence, only 28 percent of non-college white men feel the same.

Methodology


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Sept. 19-22, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including 651 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect, for the full sample, and 4.5 points for likely voters. Partisan divisions are 33-23-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents, in the full sample, and 37-27-28 among likely voters.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More than 84 million people watched Monday's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, topping the all-time record of 80.6 million set back in 1980, when Jimmy Carter squared off against Ronald Reagan, according to Nielsen.

Overall, 13 networks aired Monday's event, whose audience broke a 36-year watermark for the presidential debates.

The debate drove traffic online as well, with 17.1 million Twitter interactions from 2.7 million people in the U.S. related to the "Presidential Debate," Nielsen said.

The last round of debates, between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, topped out at 67.2 million viewers.

Other notable draws include the 1992 debates between Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot, which drew a peak audience of nearly 70 million viewers.

Monday's debate audience put the presidential race's signature event in a league with the most-watched event on television.

With more than 114 million viewers, Superbowl 50's match-up last year between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks was the most watched event in U.S. television history, according to Nielsen data.

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) -- Hillary Clinton came out swinging against Donald Trump Tuesday after the first presidential debate of the general-election season, criticizing his post-performance gripes, questioning his wealth and suggesting a "strong probability" the GOP nominee has not paid federal income taxes in years.

“He actually bragged about gaming the system to get out of paying his fair share of taxes,” Clinton said while campaigning in North Carolina Tuesday, referring to an exchange from Monday night’s debate. “In fact, I think there's a strong probability he hasn't paid federal taxes a lot of years.”

She added, “When I confronted him with the reasons why he won't release his tax returns and I got to that point where I said, ‘Well, maybe he's paid zero,’ he said that makes him smart. Now, if not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?”

Clinton, who took several days off the campaign trail to prepare for the candidates' first face-off together, also said her opponent was ill-prepared.

"He made it very clear that he didn't prepare for that debate," she told the crowd of roughly 1,400. "At one point he was kind of digging me for spending time off the campaign trail to get prepared. But just trying to keep track of everything he says took a lot of time and effort."

Trump called in to Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, at one point saying he thought he had microphone issues during Monday night’s debate. But he later said it must have been working well enough to pick up his breathing when it sounded like he was sniffling.

Clinton reacted Tuesday morning aboard her campaign plane, saying, “Anyone who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.”

Asked by reporters whether she thinks Trump will skip the remaining two debates next month -- as he and some of his surrogates have suggested -- she said she’ll be there, no matter what.

“Well, I’m going to show up. He gets to decide what he’s going to do,” Clinton said. “But I will be there in St. Louis and then after that in Las Vegas.”

She added, “If I’m the only person onstage, well, you know, I’m the only person onstage.”

At her campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina Tuesday Clinton also took a veiled swipe at Trump’s wealth.

“One of my guests was Mark Cuban,” Clinton said, referring to businessman as “a real billionaire.”

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Xinhua/Qin Lang via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Donald Trump was asked by debate moderator Lester Holt Monday night how he would prevent cyberattacks against the United States, the Republican nominee had an opportunity to hammer Hillary Clinton on her use of a private email server and her handling of classified information as secretary of state.

Instead, Trump suggested that a 400-pound hacker could have targeted the Democratic National Committee, accused Democratic officials of mistreating Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and praised his 10-year-old son’s “unbelievable” knack for computers.

The exchange was one of several missed opportunities for Trump in Monday’s presidential debate, according to congressional Republicans who tuned in to the much-anticipated matchup.

“I wish Trump would’ve hit some of the softballs a little harder,” said Rep. Dave Brat (R-Virginia) who watched the debate with colleagues.

Republicans expressed frustration that Holt did not ask any questions about the Clinton Foundation or the Benghazi attacks while challenging Trump on his record on the Iraq War and real estate career.

But lawmakers said the New York businessman should have taken every opportunity to bring up those issues, which have dogged Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“She might as well have emailed the Russians her email address!” Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Florida) exclaimed Tuesday about Clinton’s use of a private email server.

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that just 36 percent of voters see Clinton as honest and trustworthy, compared with 45 percent for Trump.

Trump, who has never run for public office, held limited debate practice and did not take part in any mock debates, according to campaign advisers, while Clinton was still preparing as late as Monday afternoon.

Some top Republicans praised Trump for effectively making his case to American voters.

“I saw Hillary Clinton give a polished, well-rehearsed defense of the status quo,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) told reporters Tuesday. “I saw Donald Trump give a spirited voice to those of us who don’t like the status quo.”

Trump, Ryan continued, showed “for 90 minutes he could go toe to toe with Hillary Clinton.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said the debate “was very interesting.”

While many Republicans gathered to watch the debate in Washington, it wasn’t required viewing for everyone.

“I was on an airplane,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) told reporters.

Rep. John Katko (R-New York), who is in a tough re-election race in upstate New York, also declined to answer questions about the debate Tuesday.

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Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- According to the Sunday's ABC News/Washington Post poll, 17 percent of registered voters were planning on watching last night's presidential debate with an open mind, saying Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump's performances might change their minds about how they would vote.

Three young, undecided voters in three swing states spoke with ABC News about their first impressions the morning after that debate.

Lacey Dickinson, a 28-year-old non-profit staffer in Philadelphia, Pa. is torn between casting her ballot for Clinton or Green Party candidate, Jill Stein.

Carolyn Garavente, 24, a project manager from Greensboro, NC, has always identified as Republican but says she doesn't believe Trump represents her interests.

And Peter Macone, a 32-year-old restaurant manager from Manchester, NH says he hasn't been convinced to shift his support from Sen. Bernie Sanders to Clinton, and is weighing writing in the former Democratic candidate on principle.

With just six weeks to go until Election Day, what will these undecided voters ultimately decide?

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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off for the first time in Monday night's debate, clashing over policies and attacking each other on the issues.

The numbers behind the debate highlight each candidate's unique communication style and the dynamics of the debate's back-and-forth.

Here are some fun facts from last night's debate:

Trump spoke roughly three minutes longer than Clinton did. He interrupted her 39 times, whereas Clinton interrupted him just 9 times. While Clinton interrupted Trump roughly once every 10 minutes, Trump interrupted Clinton once every two minutes and 27 seconds.

And a few more stats on last night's debate via an @ABC analysis: pic.twitter.com/TT3MGShYyA

— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) September 27, 2016

Clinton spent more than half of her speaking time having already been interrupted by Trump earlier in the answer. She talked for 21 minutes, 33 seconds after an interruption vs. 20 minutes, 17 seconds before she was interrupted or in answers without an interruption at all. Trump, on the other hand, spoke more than 40 minutes -- 90 percent of his speaking time -- without being interrupted.

In one less than 10-minute span, Trump interrupted Clinton 18 times. During that time, over the course of a less than two-minute answer from Clinton, Trump interrupted her 9 times -- once every 12 seconds.

Here's an amazing stat: Clinton spent over half her speaking time last night having already been interrupted by Trump earlier in the answer.

— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) September 27, 2016

Trump spoke significantly faster than Clinton as well. He spoke an average of 188 words per minute vs. Clinton's 146 words per minute. He also spoke roughly one grade level lower than Clinton, according to a Flesch-Kincaid readability analysis.

So I ran the big Trump-Clinton debate thru Microsoft Word and got these stats out: pic.twitter.com/zZxAsD1znv

— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) September 27, 2016

Clinton's sentences were also slightly longer. She averaged 16 words per sentence vs. 14 words per sentence for Trump.

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